AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men's lacrosse team picked up its first victory of the 2009 season at its home opener this afternoon. The Lord Jeffs grabbed 14-6 win over Hartwick College at Gooding Field, improving to 1-1 on the year, while Hartwick falls to 1-3.
The Hawks scored the first goal of the game less than one and a half minutes into the first quarter as Brandon Wilk scored an unassisted tally. Amherst needed over 10 minutes to find a response, as junior midfielder Alex Miller (Sudbury, MA) finished off a nice right-handed dodge with a goal.
The first quarter ended with the two teams deadlocked at 1-1, with the Hawks holding a narrow 8-7 edge in shots. The second period saw Amherst out-scored Hartwick 5-2, with junior Thomas McDonnell (Manhasset, NY) scoring the first two of his game-high four goals in the frame. At the half, Hartwick held an 18-16 edge in shots, but Amherst senior goalie Matt Pietroforte (Brooklyn, NY) made 9 saves in the half to keep the Jeffs ahead.
Amherst started the second half on fire, scoring six straight goals to start the third quarter. During the dominant stretch, McDonnell scored his other two goals, while J.T. Milone (Manhasset, NY), Tim Thornton (Garden City, NY), Cole Cherney (Chappaqua, NY) and Alex Fox (Garden City, NY) each chipped in with a score.
Hartwick grabbed one score back late in the third quarter as Tom Srubinski put home a goal off a Dave Atchison feed. With the third quarter out-burst, Amherst put the game out of reach, heading into the final period up 12-4.
The fourth quarter saw Amherst give some valuable early season playing time to a handful of younger players, while also seeing junior long-stick middie Kyle Standiford (Great Falls, VA) score his first career goal. The defensive midfielder scooped up a ground ball in front of the Amherst bench before going 40 yards for a score that sent his teammates wild.
As the final whistle blew, McDonnell led all players with four goals, while senior Brett Miller (Wantagh, NY) dished out a game-high three assists. Pietroforte made 18 saves for the win, while John Meade made 11 saves in net for the Hawks in the loss.
Amherst will return to action on Saturday against Mount Ida College. The home game will start at Gooding Field at 1 p.m.